There’s a new quantity on the Ottawa music festival scene, and it’s managed to steer clear of the crowded May to September festival corridor. The NuJazz Festival is a name that may sound familiar to Toronto expats, and that’s because it’s the local edition of a long-running funk fest that was born in the 416. Kicking off tonight, the festival will bring touring acts like the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to town for three of the booty-popping-est live shows this November.
You can start by checking out the launch party tonight at Mercury Lounge, featuring Montreal jazz historians Jazz Amnesty Sound System. The heat stays dialled up on Friday when the Soul Motivators, a nine-piece neo-soul outfit from Toronto, take the stage at Mercury. Things wrap up on a high note on Saturday when the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, an unnaturally talented horn outfit who hail from Chicago via New York, take over at Ritual. You don’t want to miss these guys. They’re a group of eight brothers whose father was Philip Cohran, a trumpeter for the Sun Ra Arkestra.
I think it’s great to have a mini festival of this calibre hitting the city at a time of year when people are more focused on their holiday shopping than checking out great live music. If you like the idea of smaller, more intimate festivals spread out through the year that augment the onslaught of their high-profile summer counterparts, then show your support by shaking your thang at the Ottawa NuJazz Festival this weekend.
More details, including ticket information, is available at worldfamousmusic.net.